Amazon recently claimed to have removed all racist and Nazi-themed items from their site. According to policies set by Amazon, sellers cannot sell items which promote views of racial, sexual, or religious intolerance, or does it wish to promote products glorifying hatred.
Today NPR is reporting that Amazon is not quite adhering to their own policies, as the website still stocks and ships numerous items which many would find to be racist and hate-promoted. A report from Partnership for Working Families and the Action Center on Race & the economy unearthed items which they say proves Amazon is still enabling the spread of hatred and intolerance and “giving hate groups the opportunity to profit.”
Southern Poverty Law Center also stated that numerous e-books were being written by authors and put out by publishers associated with hate groups and racist organizations.
On top of that flags, t-shirts, stickers, and even baby clothes were found on Amazon, which promoted white supremacy. One notable find was a book called Trevor Lynch’s White Nationalist Guide to the Movies, which points to an “anti-white” bias in Hollywood.
Democratic Representative Kieth Ellison has condemned Amazon for allowing such items to be sold. The recent findings prompted Ellison to write to Amazon and inquire about whether or not the company would be committed to removing such products in the future.
Amazon’s Vice President of public policy replied to the letter defending the company, stating they were dedicated to, and heavily invested in, getting hatred and racism off Amazon.
“We have developed sophisticated, automated tools that use machine learning to scan listings on Amazon, automatically removing listings found to be in violation of our policies, before we are ever notified by an external party. These automated tools are supplemented by teams of investigators that conduct manual, human review of our listings on a regular basis.”
Ellison also elaborated that many of the aforementioned items belonged to sellers who were since banned from selling on Amazon after violating the website’s policies.
NPR states that at this point there are still numerous items available through Amazon which are extremely racist in nature. As of the time of this writing, such claims have not been addressed by Amazon or representatives of the website.
Amazon Prime touts having 100 million subscribers as of 2018, which equates to roughly 64 percent of the entire United States population. Generally, Amazon does not release actual sales figures to the public but received a reported 2.35 billion visitors during the month of June in 2018.